January 31, 2012 / 11:50 PM / 7 years ago

Richest Fed officials worked in finance

Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William C. Dudley pauses as he talks with a small business owner at the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce in New York June 10, 2011. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - It’s hardly a huge surprise: those Federal Reserve officials that made careers in the financial sector are much wealthier than their colleagues, according to new disclosures on Tuesday.

Four of the central bank’s 12 regional bank presidents, whose salaries range roughly between $300,000 and $400,000, had assets of $1 million or more in 2010.

The data was released against a backdrop of growing concerns about wealth disparities in the United States, including several protests around the nation demanding greater equity.

It turns out the wealth gap within the Fed is also wide.

Richard Fisher, president of the Dallas Fed and a former hedge fund manager, was by far the wealthiest policymaker, with at least $21.5 million in assets. William Dudley, a former Goldman Sachs partner now in charge of the New York Fed, came in second with at least $5.6 million.

Because the highest category in the disclosure form is $1 million or more, it is difficult to get a more exact reading of total assets.

Dennis Lockhart was the third wealthiest Fed president, and appeared to be the most active investor of the bunch. In October of 2010, just before the central bank launched a $600 billion stimulus program, Lockhart bought over half a million dollars in stocks and mutual funds.

On the lower end of the spectrum were career Fed economists James Bullard, Jeffrey Lacker and John Williams, of St. Louis, Richmond and San Francisco respectively. Each of these reported assets valued in the thousands of dollars.

Additional reporting by Mark Felsenthal, Neil Stempleman, Emily Stephenson, Melissa Bland, Ann Saphir and Jonathan Spicer

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